Three new studies describe the link between obesity and elevated risk of COVID-19 infection and poor outcomes.
The first study, published yesterday in Diabetes Care, shows that predominantly black hospitalized COVID-19 patients with metabolic syndrome (a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and/or abnormal cholesterol levels that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease) were nearly five times more likely than their peers to require intensive care and a ventilator or experience respiratory distress and 3.4 times more likely to die from their infections.
The more of the metabolic syndrome diagnoses patients had, the worse their prognosis. While patients who had only one of the diagnoses weren’t more likely than their peers to die, obesity and diabetes were tied to increased likelihood of needing intensive care and a ventilator. High blood pressure alone wasn’t linked to any adverse outcome.